Borussia Dortmund saw any realistic hope of overhauling Bayern Munich for the Bundesliga title dashed by their midweek defeat, but they will seek to keep their top-four ambitions on track with victory away to bottom side Paderborn on Sunday (12pm ET).
Dortmund would have moved to within a point of Bayern at the top had they been emerged victorious from their encounter on Tuesday, but instead that gap widened to seven points as Joshua Kimmich’s lobbed finish late in the first half consigned Dortmund to defeat.
Lucien Favre’s side had come into that match on the back of six consecutive victories, including a pair of wins over Schalke and Wolfsburg since the Bundesliga restart earlier this month. The January addition of Erling Haaland from RB Salzburg has added further potency to their already strong attack and had seemed to bring them into potential title contention.
That ship has now sailed. It is extremely difficult to see Bayern dropping seven points to them over the remaining six rounds of the season. So Dortmund’s focus now shifts to maintaining their place inside the top four and the Champions League qualifying place that comes with it.
Dortmund head that race on 57 points, two clear of RB Leipzig in third, and four ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen in fourth and fifth respectively. It is a tight contest, but one in which Favre’s side have a very good chance of prevailing. Not only have they been one of the Bundesliga’s best sides since the turn of the year, but they also have a relatively kind closing schedule.
Including Sunday’s match at Paderborn, Dortmund will play three of the current bottom four over the course of their remaining six fixtures, in addition to encounters with Hoffenheim (seventh) and Hertha Berlin (10th). Their trip to Leipzig on the penultimate match day is by far the toughest of their remaining engagements.
Paderborn are all but dead and buried at the bottom of the table. The Bundesliga relegation system works slightly differently to that of the majority of European leagues, with two teams suffering automatic demotion and the third going into a promotion/relegation playoff against the third-placed team from the second division. Even in that context, things don’t look good for them.
Steffen Baumgart’s side are three points adrift of Werder Bremen in 17th (who also have a game in hand on them) and six behind Fortuna Dusseldorf in the playoff place of 16th. The guaranteed survival of 15th is a further point away.
While Wednesday’s 0-0 draw away at Ausgburg represented their third straight match without defeat, Paderborn have only won once in 11 outings this calendar year. Their underlying statistics have improved a smidgen as the season has gone on, but not enough to suggest them capable of overturning their current disadvantage in what remains of the campaign.
Particularly not when one studies their closing schedule, encompassing not just this weekend’s visit of Dortmund, but also matches against two other top-five teams. They may well grab points against Werder Bremen, Union Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt, but they would probably have to take full points from those matches to have any chance of avoiding an immediate return to the second division.
Paderborn raced into a three-goal lead when they and Dortmund met at the Signal-Iduna Park earlier this season, only for Dortmund to rally after the break and eventually claim a 3-3 draw. Dortmund were very inconsistent during that part of the campaign, drawing five and winning just two of eight matches between late September and late November, and should have less troubles seeing them off this time around, even with Haaland likely out injured.
Paderborn have been one of the lowest-scoring teams in this season’s Bundesliga and have failed to score in three of their last five matches. Dortmund have won to nil in five of their last seven, and can be fancied to repeat the trick on Sunday. So our Paderborn vs Borussia Dortmund prediction for this preview, having checked the lines with the top rated online USA sports betting companies, is:
- Bet on Borussia Dortmund to win to nil @ best odds of +155 with Bovada. This is done on their ‘match result & both teams to score’ market by choosing to bet on the option ‘Borussia Dortmund Win & No’.